400co Luxury Corporate Apparel - Runway Show 16/09/16
Right" Jaana Brown (Photographer) Left: Laura Chong (Designer and Director 'The 400 co' and
You know what the definition of Adrenalin is? Shooting the runway with beautiful legged giraffes dripping with glamour and sophistication pelting towards you at pace, pausing to look fabulous and then as swiftly as they came, gone, and so is your chance.
Today I had the absolute privilege to shoot the sold out annual 400co new season runway show in Brisbane. When the director Laura Chong, a highly successful lawyer and after hours fashion empress approved my application, I was excited to say the least.
Fashion is fabulous, but corporate fashion was my wardrobe for 15 years, so the opportunity to reflect the
“ambitious, driven and inspired” woman through creative capture frankly had me chomping at the bit.400co is relatively new to corporate fashion, the clothes Laura produces are designed with the professional in mind and provide an edge, so its simply not a surprise that 'her pieces have caught the attention of TV personalities, including Channel 9 newsreaders Melissa Downes and Alison Ariotti as well as Channel 7’s Sunrise co-host Samantha Armytage.'
This particular show was my first runway shoot and was to promote the Spring/Summer new season's line incorporating a St.Tropez feel, it was to be shot at the new Brisbane 'it building' (480 Queen Street) and the runway was to be the level 4 escalators (think Louis Vitton). Following the show, a collaboration from Brisbane’s best businesses would be presenting their wears to those waiting to soak up the post fashion bliss including Di Bella Espresso Martini, Mayfield’s Chocolates, Dello Mano Brownies. The courier mail would be waiting for images to come through the day after and Brisbane’s corporate fashion elite would all be watching with anticipation as Laura released her designer 'St Tropez Spring Summer' collection.
It was fabulous. I can not even start to explain the rush of shooting pro from the media pit, it is exhilarating and unlike any experience I have had to date in terms of photography shoots. Its fast, its intense and you have to be 200% on the ball. It rocked.
The day started in hair and make up with the designer at her flagship store in Brisbane CBD, I took hundreds of images of the models, the make up artists the room, the clothes and everything else. Next I walked over to rig up lighting and help set up the runway at the venue, there were media everywhere. If there is a fashion blog, or a magazine present they were all in the pit. We exchanged cards and contacts, I had a crack on a prime lens (which will most certainly be the next lens I purchase) and then it was off to back stage to capture make up touch ups, preps and changing into the clothing.
The show was amazing, intense and quick, the models came down the escalator dressed in this seasons best, turned at the bottom and returned to the escalator to retreat. Speeches followed and the rest of the night consisted of the media wall and the after party.
So what did I learn from all of this?
What didn't I learn? From a business perspective the networking at the event provided a wonderful opportunity for me to get my card in peoples pockets, about 200 cards in fact. I made connections, got invites to other shoots, I got to use a prime lens, got tips from pros, I was able to fet in front the director and other professionals in the industry and of course it was brilliant in terms of access to the brand.
From a purely photographic perspective, the process of finding the angles, working with other artists (literally elbow to elbow) and getting the shot was invaluable. You cant buy that experience. You snap in bursts as they take a step, you compete with everyone else there, they all want the spot, its awesome.
Technically, using the camera to shoot fashion was cool, I enjoyed alternating between Manual, Aperture and Shutter priority modes depending on the lighting and the lens and I learned a lot about white balance.
But the biggest take away is the realisation that if you want something bad enough, and you work your network, and throw enough arrows out there you are going to hit and apple. Make that apple count.